St Andrew
Saturday, 5 March 1955 in 2h 59 (14–0–15 in F)
5056 Feering Surprise Major
Composed by Composer of the Method: William Keeble. Composer of the Peal Composition: C. Middleton
1 Alan R Syder
2 Frank Claydon
3 Lewis W Wiffen
4 Ronald Suckling
5 Terry Earle
6 John Warner
7 Hilda G Snowden (C)
8 Walter Arnold
Feering Surprise Major was rung at Earls Colne for the first time on the 5th March 1955 by an all-Northern Division Band. The method was composed several years ago by the late William Keeble of Feering, one of the greatest exponents of the art that ever lived. He intended to call the method Chelmsford Surprise, at the time when a motion to change the name of the Essex Association to that of the Chelmsford Diocesan Guild was put forward at the annual meeting. The motion was defeated and he lost interest in the method. For several years prior to his death he was confined to hospital, so the method was not pursued. Interest was aroused by another highly regarded and famous Essex ringer Miss Hilda G Snowden, and after getting the method checked by a member of the Association's Peal Committee, it was decided to call it Feering Surprise, thereby linking William Keeble's name with that of his method, on account of his long association with Feering Tower. It has also been decided to call the eight place variation Foxearth Surprise. Miss Hilda G. Snowden has been assured that the method is original and is not to be found in Corrigan's collection.
The information about this special tribute to William Keeble was taken from a cutting of the Ringing World which was found in the Composition Book of the Late Charles Burton who was for many years a ringer at St Mary's Kelvedon. The reason why the method was not rung for the first time at Feering All Saints' is not known.
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